The First International Conference on Climate Change Palestine was concluded in the PRCS headquarters in Ramallah.
During the conference, held on the 8th and 9th of May, international experts gave their opinion as to why Palestine should care about the climate and what you can do.
Global warming is as much, if not more, a threat to Palestine as everywhere else. Especially because the warming of the earth causes drought and could heighten prices on the already scarce and expensive supply of water that the occupied territories on the West Bank have.
On the first day of the ICCCP, Atem Ramsundersingh said that technology is freedom; freedom to exchange information. He believes that securing energy for the Palestinian people is vital for its economy. Palestine has opportunities given from nature that could be exploited. When Ramsundersingh was faced with the question of what land to use, he answered saying that you don’t need to look at the land that you are already fighting to get back. Look at every structure being built. Use architecture to design buildings so that every home and city can be turned into a power plant.
Wilhelm Kuck, made the point that for successful innovation you need to be able to look at both sides of the coin. Both in conflict and climate solutions. Palestine imports most of its electricity from Israel. This means that companies looking to be innovative and start production, has higher production costs than in most other countries. It also affects the trade balance and civilian lives negatively. Natural energy sources like wind energy and solar power could help relieve Palestine from its dependency on Israeli companies and help stabilize both energy and economy.
Russian speaker, Vasiliy Rud talked about how people from different professions and countries worked together to bring prosperity to Russia and that Palestinians can do the same. Physicists, mathematicians, engineers, ecologists, philosophers etc. The problem of climate change needs people who are dedicated to finding a solution. Cooperation and academic relationships across borders and professions with mutual benefits can help fight global warming.
The international speakers recognize that it may be difficult and/or expensive to implement climate adaptation in the Palestinian society but also stress the fact that it is necessary to do so. Both for Palestine and for the rest of the world.
The final recommendations of the conference were the following:
1) To seriously work on the preparation of the Palestinian National Building Code, taking into account adaptation to climate change and the imposition of preventive measures necessary to minimize the effects of climate change.
2) Supervising the design and implementation of bond facilities and developing their design in line with climate change.
3) Civil defense plays a greater role in examining the readiness of [Palestinian] facilities for climate change.
4) Supporting environmental and developmental media in order to achieve the objectives of sustainable development, enhancing awareness and social responsibility, and integrating the efforts of civil society in addressing the phenomenon of climate change in its different dimensions.
5) Pressuring international institutions to support the natural resources of the Palestinian people guaranteed by international law.
6) Developing plans for real mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
7) Reducing emissions of transport by encouraging people to use public transport including the development of public transport services.
8) Providing support to the agricultural sector and encouraging farmers to continue to serve their land.
9) Minimizing the excessive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
10) Combating the phenomenon of burning scrap and cars and preventing the introduction of dilapidated cars into Palestinian territory.
11) Working on building a database related to climate change in Palestine to benefit from local information in related researches and studies.